Caleb is now 9 1/2 months old. I can't believe how quickly the time is flying! He had his 9-month checkup a couple of weeks ago, and here is what we learned:
Weight: 18 lbs 7 oz (25th percentile)
Height: 29in (75th to 90th percentile)
No shots this time, but an iron test to make sure Caleb has enough iron. He does, so that means that if/when he weans, he can go straight to Vitamin D cow's milk instead of needing formula! That's great news because formula is very expensive, there are lots of brands to try and figure out which one would work, etc. It would just be a hassle, and I'd actually figured I'd keep pumping through to the end of Caleb's first year, when traditionally he could move to normal milk. I was dreading that, so I'm glad to find out he can move to cow's milk when he's ready. He is still nursing, but it really is becoming more like snack time between his solid food meals. I asked about snacks, and the doctor said that Caleb's nursing would serve that purpose, and it seems to have without me doing anything. He generally nurses well in the morning and at night, but the other feedings are quick as Caleb wants to move on to doing something else. He nurses about every 4 hours during the day, so about 4 times a day.
Sleeping: Caleb had gotten into the habit of waking up once every night. It started when he was teething and the habit was solidified during the month of July when we spent so many nights in the same room together, and we would pick him up and try to get him back to sleep so as not to disturb anyone else. The doctor wasn't too happy about that, and suggested we just let him cry it out one night and break the habit. So that's what we did! That night we listened to Caleb on the monitor for an hour and a half, crying his little eyes out. I did go and check on him once, and finally he fell asleep. And it does seem to have broken the habit! He's only woken up in the night a couple of times since then! Hooray! He gets to sleep between 7:30 and 8:00 and then wakes up between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning. He takes two naps during the day, usually 4 hours apart.
Eating: Caleb is officially on 100% table food! I think it's kind of early for it, but he seems ready, and it just kind of happened that way. He opens his mouth for pretty much anything we offer, and he'll also feed himself with bite-sized pieces we give him. He's had roast and veggies, scalloped potatoes, grilled chicken, chicken pot pie.... It has certainly caused me to cook healthier! On nights when we make pizza or something like that, I just heat up some cooked chicken and green beans that I keep in the freezer.
Developmental Markers: Caleb claps and he started waving on the 15th of August. He likes to wave! He also loves to talk. He's fascinated by doors. He opens and closes his door and our bedroom door. They're so big and swing so wide that he has to crawl to the door, swing it open, crawl to where it swung, swing it back....it's a workout, but he does it tirelessly. He also likes the doors on the front of our entertainment center. He enjoys pulling the DVDs down into a pile. He's got the pincer grasp down, using his tiny thumb and forefinger to pick up all kinds of things; I fish things out of his mouth several times a day lately! He's also figured out object permanence: he knows there's a toy underneath his blanket now, and he's pretty proud when he reveals it.
Our little guy is lightning on his hands and knees. I sit him down in the living room to play while I do something in the kitchen, but he's in the kitchen almost as fast as I am! He's very comfortable in the house, and goes exploring even in places where we are not. He will follow our voice and will generally come when asked, though maybe because we're smiling and clapping more than because we've asked him to come.
Caleb understands the word "no" and usually obeys it. We praise him when he does, because we know that soon he will realize he can refuse!
He has maintained his reputation of being a laid-back boy. It was questionable for a few days while teething, but undeniable as we house-hunted. He missed his morning nap, we pulled him in and out of the car several times, it was hot, he wasn't allowed down on the floor, and to top it off he had a cold that turned into a sinus infection. But, give him a sippy cup of water and a toy and he's a happy camper. We also got to help out with some friends who had a baby recently, and Caleb was very good sitting in the hospital with us. We mentioned to the doctor about how easy-going Caleb is, and suggested that perhaps something was wrong (because what is a parent if not always finding something to worry about?). The doctor said he was fine, and it just meant we'd be hit with a jolt of reality with the terrible twos come! So, I guess we'll enjoy our easy baby while we have him.
To be certain, he is not always easy, and he's definitely very opinionated about things, and usually has a bout of screaming once a day or so, whether it's because he wants to roll on the changing table or because I'm sucking ew from his nose or maybe because he just didn't want a shirt on. So it happens, but it's rare and short-lived, and for that I am thankful.
I often use Ian's development as a marker for what I'm supposed to look for with Caleb. What Ian was like at 9 months is very clear to me, because that was when he came to the hospital to visit when Caleb was born. There had been one thing I'd been looking for that I remember distinctly: playing peek-a-boo. And lo and behold, while we were visiting Great Grandma and Great Grandpa, it happened!